The 2009 Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up is set to take off this weekend April 3-5, 2009 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a loaded field of talented prospects up and down the board. This weekend's schedule is posted now and games tip off Friday night at 6pm, Saturday at 8am, and Sunday at 8am. Day passes are available for this weekend's tournament. The tournament is loaded as talented prospects up and down the divisions are set to take the floor. Flavien Davis, Josh Gasser, Harrison Barnes, Xavier Jones, Reggie Smith, Crandall Head, Lenzelle Smith, Chip Rank, Kyle Kelm, Dominique Ferguson, Brandon Dawson, Zach McCabe, TrayVonn Wright, Quevyn Winters, Elgin Cook, Cinmeon Bowers, Andy Fox, Jereme Richmond, Mike Shaw, Wayne Blackshear, Larry Bradley, Darell Longstreet, Leonard Myers, Jabari Parker, Thomas Hamilton Jr., Andre Henley, Darnell Harris, George Marshall Jr., Keith Gray, Kevin Gray, Otis Pirtle, Casey Kasperbauer, Riley Dearing, Jonathan Carson, Brandon Key, David Burrell, Paul Jesperson, Calvin Godfrey, Kevin Mays, Phillip Nolan, Zak Showalter, Dan Studer, Charles Lee, Adreian Payne, Juwan Staten, Lavonte Dority, Treshaun Carroll, Jesse Berry, etc. are just a few of the monster talents set to take the floor this weekend as teams from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin take aim at the 4th annual event. This year's tournament is for 9u-17u teams and the 15u-17u divisions feature Platinum and Gold Division playoffs for the first time.
The Generation Next All-Star Camp is coming June 12-14, 2009 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with kids already confirmed to attend from California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. This year's camp is open to rising 6th-9th graders (grade as of September 1, 2009) and is set to feature some of the premiere young talent in the country. In addition to Antonio Curro of NY2LASports.com who's also the Midwest PUNKS editor for SLAM Magazine, the Midwest Editor for the HoopScoop, the National Recruiting Editor for PhenomNationHoops.com, and the editor for 414Hoops.com, Clark Francis will also been in attendance at this year's camp evaluating prospects. Francis is the National Recruiting Editor for the HoopScoop and one of the foremost authorities on middle school talent nationally. A number of regional services and scouts will also be on hand as the players participate in skill sessions and full length game play during the course of the 3 day camp. The camp is open to any young prospect looking to compete at a high level and get some big time exposure and skill development competing with the best. For more information CLICK HERE
The 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational is already picking up steam for May 29-31, 2009. This 4th year event has become one of the premiere tournaments to cap off the spring travel season and this year's promises to be no exception as this year in addition to the boys 9u-17u division the tournament will feature girls divisions as well. Girls programs like the All Iowa Attack, Wisconsin Swing, Wisconsin Blizzard, The Family (Indiana), and the Playground Elite (formerly Wisconsin Playground Warriors) are already confirmed to attend on the Girls side and the boys tournament is looking like a loaded field of teams with programs from Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin set to attend! As loaded as this year's Swish & Dish is in terms of talent, the 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational is shaping up as the strongest field of teams ever for that tournament and SLAM Magazine, NY2LASports.com, 414Hoops.com, PhenomNationHoops.com, and the HoopScoop will be front and center for the boys and girls action along with with other services as well.
With the spring set to heat up, teams are also planning their summer schedules as well and Milwaukee, Wisconsin stands as one of the places to be in July with the 2009 NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational July 6-9, 2009 and the 2009 NY2LASports.com Summer Jam tournaments set to take place during the July "live" evaluation period. The Next Level Invitational is open to 14u-17u teams while the Summer Jam tournament is open to 15u-17u teams. Both tournaments will be "live" and certified for Division 1 college coaches to attend. Last year over 100 Division 1 and 2 college coaches attended the Next Level Invitational with virtually every high major and mid major conference in attendance. The competition was off the charts as well with teams from California, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin putting it down for the Next Level Invitational. This year's is no exception as programs from California, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois are already confirmed for the Next Level Invitational July 6-9th. With exposure at a premium, the Next Level Invitational promises to be one of the best tournaments to kick off the live evaluation period with all games taking place for every division inside the same facility.
After a couple days off NY2LASports.com will unleash the 2009 Summer Jam tournament July 12-15, 2009. This will also be held during the July "live" evaluation period and will be certified for Division 1 college coaches to attend as well. All games will again take place inside the same facility throughout the tournament and teams from Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, etc. are already locked in to attend. This field is going to be loaded from top to bottom and has the potential to become the must attend event to wrap up the first half of the July "live" period! When the field drops for this one don't be left out in the cold wishing you were there, this field is going to be the deal...real talk! The field on this tournament and the Next Level Invitational will be the deepest and most talented field NY2LA Sports has ever assembled and you can expect a laundry list of college coaches to be sitting there front and center for the Summer Jam and the Next Level Invitational.
The college coaching carousel is in full swing now with former Memphis head coach John Calipari signed sealed and delivered to the University of Kentucky. Not only does Calipari bring with him a swagger in the mold of former Wildcat general Rick Pitino but he also is one of the premiere recruiters in the country and is expected to bring his entire staff with him including Josh Pastner, one of the bright young stars in the business. Pastner got it done at Arizona and has been a major talent so far at Memphis. He's one of the best young recruiters in the business and has star potential if he continues to put in the work. What's important about this signing is the fact that Calipari was set to introduce a loaded 2009 class to the Memphis faithful, which included, but was not limited to, the likes of Demarcus Cousins of Alabama, Nolan Dennis of Texas, and super talent Xavier Henry of Oklahoma. It's a very real possibility that some if not all of those could bolt to Kentucky now with the coaching change. What makes this even more interesting is the rumor that Xavier Henry's letter of intent is now null and void due to a clause that made it so should Calipari leave Memphis. With an 8 year deal rumored to be worth around $32 million, Calipari has brought major stability to a program that has suffered a bit in recent years since the departure of Hall of Fame coach Tubby Smith who's now rocking the sidelines at Minnesota in a major way.
On the flip side Memphis has now gone from one of the premiere programs in America to one searching for a coach to come in and fill the huge void left by not only the departure of Calipari, but the potential departure of a loaded 2009 recruiting class and the possible transfers from current Tigers already on campus. Memphis needs immediate spin control in a major way and while former assistant and UTEP Tony Barbee is being rumored to be the selection recommended by Calipari, one has to wonder whether Barbee has the charisma and ability to glue the Memphis ship back together. While he was a former Memphis assistant and is on his way to being an excellent head coach, it's possible that Memphis may go for a name coach with a track record of being able to get big time recruits. Enter one Tim Floyd of USC who's being rumored as the frontrunner right now to take the Memphis job if he wants it. Floyd has excellent contacts in the Midwest after his stint at Iowa State and has done and exceptional job at USC at landing big time talent (i.e. O.J. Mayo, Demar Derozan, Renardo Sidney, etc.) and could be just the guy to keep the Memphis ship from sinking. Problem there is that Floyd has done an excellent job at USC, he has an absolutely unbelievable facility, campus, city, etc. to work with and has put USC back on the national map in basketball in a manner that hasn't been seen since George Raveling was rocking the sidelines for the Trojans. Money talks in this one and if Memphis wants Floyd they may have to ante up in a major way.
Assuming Floyd stays put at USC the question remains as to who heads to Memphis. While Barbee would be a strong possibility, Rick Barnes of Texas has also been rumored as well as has Sean Miller of Xavier along with a cast of others. No way Miller goes to Memphis, he's got to be waiting on what happens with Dixon at Pittsburgh. One name that could potentially surface would be Buzz Williams of Marquette. When you consider the fact that Williams came in a Marquette with a loaded senior class and turned in a solid first year campaign, Williams market value as a head coach right now is as high as its ever been. He has a track record of being able to land solid recruits and could be a solid sleeper right now who could shock everyone and rock the Tigers if they look his way. With a host of seniors exiting Marquette this season and a solid, yet unproven, cast of young talent coming in to Marquette next season, Williams value to make that kind of a move could be substantially higher this year than perhaps the next couple years, only because it'll be hard to replace the cast of seniors leaving and to win the same amount of games next season as this year with a young cast of players in a loaded Big East will be very tough. Don't forget, had Dominic James not gone down, Williams could've easily been at full strength and gotten Marquette into the Sweet 16 if not further. Given his Texas ties, his proven track records as a recruiter both down South and in the Southwest, don't be surprised to see Williams name surface on a number of coaching fronts as his value on the open market right now is high given his success this season at Marquette. As for Barnes, no way he makes that move unless Memphis gives him the U.S. mint, which could happen because Barnes is worth it. He's done an excellent job at Texas and has an unbelievable 09 class coming in (i.e. Jordan Hamilton, Avery Bradley, etc.) that could give him one of the deepest and strongest teams he's ever had. Barnes has it going down in the Lone Star state and it would take a lot to pry him away from there. Nevertheless if Barnes were to make that type of shocking move, Buzz Williams at Marquette would become the #1 candidate to replace him at UT in what has to be considered Buzz's dream job when you look at how strong his contacts in the state of Texas are. Bet the house that if Barnes bolts from Texas, Williams ends up at the UT because there's no way he passes up that opportunity should it present itself. Everyone has a dream job and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Buzz would be a perfect fit for Texas should the Longhorns be in need of a head coach.
If Williams does leave that would put Marquette in an 11th hour bind again but rumors have also surfaced about a possible return of former assistant Darren Horn of South Carolina. It's also worth noting that a guy like Sean Miller at Xavier would be an absolute steal as Miller is in the mold of former Hall of Fame coach Al McGuire with his East Coast ties and don't get it twisted because Xavier assistant coach Emmanuel Richardson is one of brightest young stars on the come up. Miller would be a major coupe for Marquette, but his history with Pittsburgh could be a major hurdle for Marquette to overcome. Assuming Williams does move and let's say for the sake of argument that Horn doesn't come to Milwaukee and Miller has no interest, the question then will be who is the best man for the job and more importantly who is the guy that will invest the time in at Marquette to keep it in the upper echelon of the Big East while providing it with some long term stability. While likely not a frontrunner but definitely one to consider, Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois would be an excellent candidate. Lowery is highly respected regionally (a must at Marquette) and he's done a heck of a job for the Salukis. Add to the mix some strong cred in Illinois and it could be a great fit for the Golden Eagles if a vacancy developed. Another possible candidate could be the return of Indiana assistant Tim Buckley who's a great dude. Not to say Buckley would leave Indiana or is even looking at it but Buckley has been at Marquette before, is highly respected throughout the state and regionally, and he would do a great job if given the opportunity. The biggest sleeper in the mix but one who might very well be the best from a credential standpoint, a national respect standpoint, a recruiting standpoint, and just the ability to be a major dude on the sidelines is current Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor. Taylor has the playing pedigree (Duke/NBA), a proven track record of being a big time recruiter (See tenure at Louisville and Minnesota), has NBA roots (Minnesota Timberwolves front office) and he hails from the Chi making his ability to grab blue chip talent from the Windy City a strong possibility annually. Taylor has gotten the job done in a major way at every level he's been at and he would be an ideal fit and quite possibility the best fit for the Golden Eagles should Williams bolt for another high priced gig. While it could be thinking outside the box, should the Marquette job open up it's imperative that Marquette locks down a star on the rise who can recruit in a big time way and can provide stability to the coaching situation in the coming years. Taylor fits the bill as one of if not the best candidate should the likes of Sean Miller not be available.
Assuming Floyd heads to Memphis, the next domino to fall would have to be who heads to USC. However, before you get to far out there keep in mind that one of the premiere jobs in the Pac 10 should be open as well with Arizona. That would leave not only Arizona but also USC and now Washington State, with the recent departure of Tony Bennett, all looking for head coaches in what is one of the premiere conferences in the country. So now with the potential for 3 openings the question becomes who goes where as you can expect a laundry list of coaches to line up for those type of vacancies. Arizona would have to be the first to fall given the history there but there are some major issues that have surfaced in house (i.e. coaching carousel, issues surrounding the now defunct Cactus Classic, etc.) and the possibility of bare cupboard when it comes to current talent and incoming recruits. On paper Arizona looks great due to its past history but some major damage control needs to take place there and an experienced head coach with a proven track record of success needs to be brought in to get things back on track for the Wildcats. Enter one Jamie Dixon who stands as one of the frontrunner's to possibly land the job in Arizona. Dixon just lost a loaded class of seniors, has major contacts out west, is a proven winner at the high major level, and can definitely land some top recruits. Add to the mix the ability to coach and win games and Dixon could be the dude rocking the Wildcats if they do there homework in Tucson. However, since Tim Floyd has already shown an ability to grab top notch recruits from the west coast and given the fact that Arizona needs a quick fix type of coach to infuse stability, name recognition, and Pac 10 experience at the helm, Floyd could decide to head to Tucson if the money is right as it's historically more of a basketball power compared to USC and Floyd could be a solid fit for the Wildcats who need a guy to bring in top talent right away. Another option could be Buzz Williams as already has been mentioned but we think Memphis or even Georgia might be a better fit for Buzz than Arizona. Nevertheless if the Arizona/Dixon marriage or even the Arizona/Floyd possibility doesn't go down, don't be surprised to see Williams surface in conversations surrounding the Wildcats. It could be a long shot but anything is possible right now.
Should Floyd bolt for Memphis, former NBA star and New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus would have to be considered one of the frontrunners to land the gig at USC, if he wants it. He's originally from the Wood (If you don't know you better ask somebody) and has major juice and rep in So Cal. He did a monster job at New Mexico State in turning that program around and would be an instant star at USC with ability to bring in the big time talent and win games. USC could go in house but they'll go right after a name guy with some local juice and Theus is the #1 option. With a big time facility already in place, some excellent talent on the way, and the fab life of L.A. in the mix, no way USC doesn't look for a name guy unless they believe they can't land them. They have continued to put their best foot forward on the basketball scene in recent years and expect them to do much of the same if Floyd leaves. The interesting point here would be if Floyd goes, will he take his staff with him. Bob Cantu is one of the hardest working assistant coaches in the business and is a good dude that's an excellent recruiter who's done an excellent job in helping USC secure major talent. At some point Cantu needs to be looked at as a possible candidate to and one possibility, albeit a stretch could be the current Washington State job, although it's likely they make go for a bigger name to bring stability. Nevertheless, Cantu has big time west coast contacts, has done an excellent job at USC, and could be just the guy to make things happen at Washington State if they wanted to take a chance on guy who could do a great job and bring in solid talent for the Cougars. While that might be thinking a bit outside the box, USC has really turned it around and one of the biggest reasons for that has been the work of Cantu who's an excellent recruiter.
Speaking of Washington State, no way Tony Bennett could pass up the opportunity at Virginia. When you're hot you have to strike and after doing an excellent job for the Cougars, heading to the ACC at Virginia was a no brainer. After passing up jobs at LSU and Indiana last year, Bennett and Washington State did not land in the NCAA tournament and when the opportunity to rock the ACC surfaced Bennett took it and rightfully so. If Washington State failed to make the tournament again next year, Bennett's stock could have taken a bit of a hit so it makes perfect sense that he grabs the ACC opportunity right now and its a solid fit. Bennett is a class act across the board, one of the top young stars on sidelines. He is a perfect choice from a character standpoint and coaching pedigree/standpoint to turn the woeful Cavaliers around . Kudos to Bennett for making the right choice both personally and professionally on this one and this is a great choice for Virginia who now has a top notch coach at the helm.
Mike Anderson stayed at Missouri today for a new 7 year deal. Missouri finally has brought stability to the helm and Anderson has done one heck of a job for the Tigers who are now a big time power Now the question becomes who takes over at Georgia?
Georgia has never really been considered a basketball powerhouse so it really shouldn't come as a surprise as to why big names aren't really jumping at the chance there. Nevertheless the SEC is one of the power basketball conferences in the country so with Anderson gone, Grant to Alabama, Donovan staying put, etc. who rocks the sidelines for the Bulldogs becomes a big point. There aren't a lot of big names left for the Bulldogs so they might be need to grab a top notch assistant from the high major ranks to do the job or a quality head coach at the mid major level as well. As we've mentioned Buzz Williams for a couple openings already, Williams could be a major coupe for the Bulldogs who need a guy that can recruit and bring in talent. Williams fits the bill perfectly and after an excellent first year campaign at Marquette, Williams has the leverage and market value he needs to land a 4-5 year deal from the Bulldogs. He could also dip into the talent rich pool that is the Peach state and turn the Bulldogs around if he so desired. Assuming Williams doesn't get the job, other names thrown into the mix include Sean Miller of Xavier, Rodney Terry of Texas, etc. People forget that a couple years ago Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois was one of the hottest names in the business and he's a possible sleeper who could potentially throw his hat into the ring as well, but that's a longshot only because it's a complete different region for Lowery. Terry is an excellent young coach on the rise but Georgia is looking to win right now after a series of frustrating seasons and they will likely want someone with high major head coaching success.
Heading back to Pittsburgh, if and only if Jamie Dixon leaves, Sean Miller of Xavier would be the head coach for Pittsburgh! Miller is a star on the rise, one of the best in game coaches in the business, and a former Pittsburgh star. If Dixon leaves, Miller goes to Pittsburgh barring a crazy development leaving Xavier to open up. This is where the fun starts because Xavier could entertain a ton of options from a host solid coaches in the business. Expecting that Miller would take his staff with him, including superstar in the making Emmanuel Richardson who is going to be the deal as a head coach some day, the #1 option for Xavier at that point should be (not saying it will be), but it should be Vince Taylor of Minnesota (see credentials mentioned above). Another name who could surface as well is Penn State assistant coach Lewis Preston, another strong recruiter who did a great job at Florida while they were rocking back to back ships and has already helped turn a Penn State program around in his first year. The Nittany Lions are positioned for a chance at the NIT championship on Thursday night in a matchup against Baylor and Preston has been a huge factor already in helping Penn State get on the map for basketball this year. Preston has ties in the Midwest dating back to his days at Notre Dame, can grab talent from the South after rocking the blue and orange for the Gators, and is widely respected as a solid recruiter as well. Taylor or Preston would do an excellent job at Xavier if given the chance.
Of course Jamie Dixon of Pittsburgh could also pull the wool over everyone's eyes and land at Memphis causing an entirely different set of possibilities to pop up across the country.